After creating something of an internet firestorm (although not really among the rock music community) with their single ‘Goodnight Alt Right’, Long Island metalcore four-piece Stray From The Path have delivered their latest full-length album – ‘Only Death Is Real’.
One of the bigger politically charged releases to be released in a post-Trump world, there are plenty of references to the man and the America he has overseen since his inauguration to be found here. ‘The House Always Wins’ references him most directly, while the Limp Bizkit influenced banger ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ swipes at the country’s top-heavy capitalist system: “Rob the poor, feed the rich, and push that agenda, ‘cause you’re daddy’s bitch”.
However, while this album is highly political in its message, ‘Only Death Is Real’ is more equivalent to a riot than a debate, and much to its betterment, doesn’t allow the band’s muscular hardcore assault to get bogged down in the details. This is best represented in the incredibly direct ‘All Day & A Night’. Pointing a gun directly at the head of the American justice system, vocalist Drew York delivers a phenomenal hook, while Brian Garris’ venomous, frenzied guest vocal is the icing on the cake.
Instrumentally speaking, ‘Only Death Is Real’ is utterly solid throughout, but special attention must be paid to the performance of drummer Craig Reynolds. Peppering each track with frenetic fills and providing sublime groove, particularly on the bluesier title track, Reynolds’ brings a level personality to his playing rarely found in this genre.
Avoiding the temptation to scream statistics at its audience while still be providing a clear, aimed message; Stray From The Path have chipped away at their formula of hip-hop bounce and metalcore aggression to create their leanest, most potent record to date.
‘Only Death Is Real’ by Stray From The Path is out now on Sumerian Records.